THE founder and chairman of family owned building firm Skipton Properties, Brian Verity, has died at the age of 72.

Mr Verity died on April 30 after a short but brave battle with myeloma, a type of blood cancer, his family announced this week.

Mr Verity and Skipton Properties had a significant impact on the business landscape in and around Skipton; his legacy - the building of thousands of homes across Yorkshire and Lancashire. Currently underway is the building of 98 new homes off Aldersley Avenue in Skipton.

He was also a keen supporter of good causes, including sports clubs, Manorlands Hospice, Airedale Hospital and the Cave Rescue Organisation.

A spokesperson for the family said: “Brian was a man who had a dream; a dream to build better homes and that is exactly what he did.

“Starting with his very first development, Carleton Park in Skipton, where he built more than100 homes. This was no small feat for a first project, and he accomplished it with the help of several contractors, but the experience ignited his desire to build homes with his own team.

“Over the years he built a long-serving and loyal team of people who have worked for the company for a significant period. His first site manager, Alan Massie, is still with the company to this day and remembers Brian’s two daughters as young girls.”

The spokesperson added: “Over the course of Brian’s life, he built more than 3,500 quality homes across the two counties. A very passionate man, he put his heart and soul into his business, and was well respected by his employees, consultants, and peers.

“Brian was also a businessman that wanted to change the way things were done and voiced his frustrations regarding planning. A position his daughter, Sarah, continues to champion in her role as Chair of the Housebuilders Association, a division of the National Federation of Builders.

“Brian and his daughter’s visionary approach to their business and commitment to high standards has earned the company many awards, most recently Housebuilder of the Year at the Construction Awards of Excellence.

“Brian was a man who wanted to share his success with local causes and has been a long supporter of local sports clubs, Sue Ryder’s Manorlands Hospice, Airedale Hospital, Steeton, the Cave Rescue Organisation, and many other worthy charities across the region.”

He leaves behind his wife, Linda, and two daughters who have, with his guidance, shaped the company into what it is today. Sarah Barraclough has been the company’s managing director since 2019, while his youngest daughter, Caroline, is sales, marketing and design director.

The family plans to celebrate Mr Verity’s life in the next few weeks, with a memorial service. A date is yet to be announced, but the service will be open to all who knew him.

In honour of its late founder, the company will be closing its developments and head office, in Cross Hills, for the day. The family requests that any donations in lieu of flowers are given to Manorlands Hospice, collection plates will be available on the day or donations can be made via Howcroft's Funeral Directors, Skipton.